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Identity Confusion

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Much has been said about gender confusion these days. The reality is that there is another issue that causes confusion, and at its core, it can be the culprit for confusion at many levels. I am not addressing the issue of gender confusion. I will leave that to the professionals. In itself, it can cause deep pain. But I will address another issue which is on my heart — identity confusion.

Moses struggled with this I believe. He was a Jew, left by his mother who feared He would be killed because He was a Jew. In an act of supreme sacrifice, his mother protected him the only way she knew how; she put him a basket, lined presumably with waterproof substance, and left him in the Nile River. Pharoah’s daughter found the baby, asked for a wet nurse to feed the baby, and providentially Moses’ mother was selected. God had this. So Moses grew up as a Gentile (non-Jew) and never knew any different until he saw a Hebrew boy being mistreated and he murdered the perpetrator. Then he ran in fear.

The Burning Bush

One day while tending his sheep, Moses sees a burning bush. It was burning but it wasn’t burning down. It had an eternal flame ... and God spoke ...

A New Identity

And that day, Moses turned aside from his ordinary job of tending sheep to find his true identity; his call to follow God and lead God’s people out of Egypt.

So what has this to do with us — people who are simply trying to make space for God? Everything! Because if we do not know our identity in Christ, we may fulfill our own dreams but they may not be God-dreams ladened with eternal purpose.

Friends, we must turn away from the ordinary and look to the extraordinary; but if we are unaware that our true identity can only be found in Christ, we will lose our way. Moses finally found his true self, and with this discovery, standing in the Presence of God before a burning bush, he found his purpose.

Many of us are doing good things, even good things for God. But we are running on empty, searching for significance, hoping to get through one more day with our soul running on empty.

Paul said that in Christ we move and have our being. As we lean into Christ searching for Him, our identity is uncovered. The real self emerges from the dust and dirt and the true self is unearthed.

Let’s Get Practical

Time to answer the “so what” question. Friends, if you find yourself stressed out all the time, burned out, flat, and perhaps joyless, something is out of order and there is a possibility that your false self is acting like a bully in your life. Your false-self has taken over and your real identity in Christ, beloved by Him, finding significance in Him, has been buried. What to do? Pray. Ask a fellow Christian to come alongside you and help you uncover your real self in Christ. Ask the hard questions. Seek the Lord.

And here is what I have learned over the years as the Lord continues to reveal more and more of who I am in Him:  operating in my true self I feel God’s pleasure. I have a sense of joy and purpose. I have no need to befriend stress. I have found a new companion. And that is my true self.

How about you?

Copyright © 2017 Joanne Ellison. Used by permission.

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About The Author


Founder of international nonprofit Drawing Near to God based in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Joanne Ellison teaches women to make space for God so that God's presence keeps them from being overwhelmed with life. Driven by a vision to motivate women to pursue a deeper relationship with God, Ellison founded Drawing Near to God in 2000 and has since reached tens of thousands of women through Christian radio, her weekly Bible study, live streaming, speaking, books, CDs and DVDs. She is the author of over 20 Bible study guides, the popular 365-day Bible devotional, Drawing Near To God, Sitting at His Feet